The Musings of Wei
After Lanigan left his quarters, General Wei picked up his snifter and swirled the warm liquid, watching as the light played in the intricate colors of the 20 year-old bijiu. Wei inhaled deeply and then took a sip allowing it to play over his tongue and then down his throat. The general raised the glass, as if in a toast, and followed the first sip with another.
“Here’s to you, Lanigan,” Wei toasted in the man’s absence. “A necessary evil … a useful tool.”
There was no love lost between the two men, but they had found their alliance to be mutually beneficial. Eventually, Lanigan would no longer be useful and Wei would dispose of him. For the time being, it served Wei’s interests to keep the attack dog on his leash.
It was curious to Wei that Lanigan was willing to sell out and attack his own countrymen. Wei would never hesitate for a moment to do the same, but Wei had believed that the Chinese mentality – especially that of the nobles – was much different from the mentality of Americans. Everything Wei had read about the American culture suggested that they were fiercely loyal to one another. Perhaps the divide driven between the classes in the time immediately preceding the crash had diluted that loyalty.
Wei understood that the United States did not have classes in the way that China had classes. There were no lines of royal blood running back thousands of years. There were a handful of dynasties – the families of industrial tycoons – that ran back a few generations at most. Wei snickered. One could hardly call a few generations a dynasty. Beyond those few families, American nobility – if there was such a thing – only encompassed a generation or two in any given family. And, before the crash, there were newly rich nearly every day. Teenagers started companies in their dorm rooms that became worldwide sensations. Creative twenty-somethings developed market-changing technology in their garages. Slick real estate moguls started with a few thousand dollars and built empires.
Although the populous had recently been convinced otherwise, from an outside perspective America truly had been the land of opportunity … until the masses stopped believing that it was. Self-fulfilling prophesy was a powerful thing. The American media and liberal political machine had told the public the same story long enough that they began to believe that it was true. They began to repeat the story of their own accord.
“We’re being held down by the evil capitalists.”
“We deserve better.”
“Everyone deserves an equal share.”
Wei snickered again. The messages were not unlike the messages used to keep the lower classes of Chinese people in their proper place. The Chinese propaganda machine had pilloried American capitalists and the evils of capitalism since President Nixon had made his famous trip to China.
The American sheep had been led to the slaughter with the very same siren song that the Chinese had used for centuries to rule their land. Convince them that they can do nothing on their own. Convince them that they deserve more and the only source for what they deserve is their current government. Make examples of a few “evil rich” – those who don’t see eye-to-eye with the ruling party - and convince the people that these men represent the face of their cruel masters.
Wei laughed out loud this time. His hatred for America and Europe ran deep – not because of their capitalism and freedom, but rather because of their snobbish attitude of supremacy. They didn’t believe that their way of life was one way of life. They believed that their way of life was the only way of life. And they were constantly sticking their nose in other people’s business when they thought those people should embrace the American way of life.
Now look at them, Wei mused. How the mighty have fallen. Where are their concepts of free market economies, human rights, tolerance and diversity? Today, they live in prisons built by their own government and run by the Chinese. Today, they live hand to mouth selling out their own countrymen for a brief moment of comfort.
Wei took another swig from his snifter.
Yes, Lanigan would prove useful. His willingness to kill his own countrymen apparently knew no bounds. His desire to sit atop the smouldering heap of American society fueled his usefulness. Wei would send his men into battle with Lanigan and then … then Lanigan would eventually outlive his usefulness.
When that day came, Lanigan would be tossed on the heap with the rest of his useless countrymen. Perhaps a new useful idiot would rise up to take his place … and his life.
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